Traditional painting products emphasise durability. Colour spectrums. Different textures and glosses. Eco-friendly paint products are modernising traditional painting options and bringing them into the sustainability realm.
Popular Australian paint company Dulux, are helping to bring a sustainability focus to painting products. Through their line ‘ecosense’, they have halved carbon emissions produced by the product, and use 20% recycled packaging. While this is an innovative move promoting sustainability, a lot of the products motivating factors are the environmental, rather than cost. This factor alone does not have the same appeal as it did to consumers before they were inundated with environmentally focussed products.
Another green paint company on the market, ASTEC paints, offers these similar products, along with a range of monetary and comfort factor bonuses. In business for more than 32 years, the company have finally found their niche market. With sustainability products being the ‘it’ trend in a global warming society, the South Australian company offer an eco-friendly solution that has enormous monetary savings.
Due to their Energy Star heat reflective properties, the paints are able to reflect up to 90% of ultra violet rays, cooling buildings on average, seven to ten degrees internally. This is a factor in the companies popularity Australia wide, as well as overseas in the Middle East, as the paints are an innovative and sustainable cooling system. Due to the change to a more comfortable internal temperature, up to 48% can be saved on air conditioning prices.
Not only is the product sustainable and money saving, it is long lasting, with a guarantee of 15 years through application associates Cocoon.
This partnering between the two companies came about when ASTEC managerial staff noted issues with their 15-year warranty. Although the paints themselves were guaranteed to last for 15 years, without the correct application process it would be impossible to guarantee. It was through resolving this issue that they began supplying to Cocoon. The result of the association now sees all paint jobs completed professionally, correctly and are insured for 15 years.
It is possible to see these positive aspects in real terms when considering the Cocoon online case studies of Staunton College and the Knox Civic Centre.
Two portable classrooms at Staunton College were tested for interior temperature between November 11 2009 and January 5 2010. Building one was coated with the eco-friendly heat reflective paint on the weekend of 12-13 December 2009. Building two was not coated with the energy efficient paint. Over the period that followed, building one saw an average internal temperature drop of ten degrees Celsius in comparison to building two. Not only is this helping to cut air conditioning costs and the associated carbon emissions, but also saving on any extra insulation needed for the portable classrooms.
Similar results can be seen at the Knox Civic Centre. After graphing their running costs and discovering that the annual cost would reach up to $200,000, as well as massive environmental costs in the enormous amount of carbon emissions the building was emitting, it was decided that sustainability steps would be taken. After changing light fittings and making further eco-friendly adjustments, the centre did see emission and monetary cuts. The changes to both carbon emissions and running costs were graphed from June 2004 to December 2009. After the application of the heat reflective paints in July of 2009 running costs dropped almost $28,000, with a break even 20 months later.
Through these case studies it is impossible to dispute the effectiveness of sustainable paint products when it comes to sustainability, and perhaps more well documented, monetary saving.
With the current state of greenwash in most consumers’ minds, green paints are offering greater monetary motivation to think in green building terms.